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Article ThumbConeflower Conundrum

Purple coneflowers (Echinacea) have been a staple in my garden for 25 years. I’ve grown them from seed, purchased them in pots and have received free cultivars from friends and growers. The flowers provide nectar for butterflies from June through October and the seed heads provide food for goldfinches in winter.


Article ThumbGood Winter Reads

In our neck of the woods, there’s been little snow to speak of, but the temperatures finally dropped into the teens. And while I was tempted to perhaps get a jump on spring (which is 10 weeks away) and cut down the grasses and clean up the perennial beds (which I neglected to do during that fabulously long autumn), I’ve opted recently to stay indoors and stick my nose in a few new garden books.


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Columns
Mike’s Really, Really Cool Gardening Stuff for 2006

It might have been yesterday when, huddled under a fluorescent kitchen light with a cup of instant decaf, staring vacantly ...


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Columns
Weed Watch

When I do garden talks, there are a number of questions that pop up repeatedly. For instance, “Is that your real hair?” is ...


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Blog
A Bulb Like No Other

A few days ago it was cool enough to go outside and see the red needles calling me. It was my fully open haemanthus, a ...


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Columns
OCGD on the QT

A gardening story recently caught my attention. At which point, some of you might ask, “Hey, you’re a garden writer.


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From the Editor

In this issue our primary focus is on perennial gardens – beautiful perennial gardens.


questions

I am interested in improving fall color in my yard. What shrubs turns red beside burning bush (Euonymus alatus)?

I am growing my potted tropical hibiscus indoors for the winter. The leaves are starting to yellow and fall off. Should I give the plant iron and should I fertilize it? Do I cut it back, and if so, when?

I have two 20-year-old pine trees whose needles are turning brown on the west side of the plants. On the east side I have a compost pile.

I live in the St. Charles region and my soil is mostly clay. What is causing the browning? Should I get rid of the compost? How do I correct the damage?

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